UMass is beginning to become a popular destination for talented New York-area guards in search of a fresh start.
Leading scorer Chaz Williams began his college career at Hofstra before joining the Minutemen. Promising sophomore Derrick Gordon was an all-conference guard at Western Kentucky as a freshman. And now UMass coach Derek Kellogg has lured a third highly touted transfer to Amherst.
Jabarie Hinds, a former top 10o recruit who spent the past two years at West Virginia, chose UMass over St. Joseph's on Thursday, according to multiple reports. Hinds started 59 of his first 60 games at West Virginia, but the 5-foot-11 sophomore opted to transfer after being relegated to the bench the final five games of this past season.
The reason for the demotion was a drop in efficiency and production for Hinds as a sophomore. Expected to shoulder a heavier burden after the graduation of stars Kevin Jones and Truck Bryant, Hinds instead struggled, averaging 7.4 points and 1.6 assists per game but shooting only 35.1 percent from the floor and 27.6 percent from behind the arc.
Hinds seems like someone who could benefit from the half tick drop in level from the Big 12 to the Atlantic 10. If he improves his shot selection and his jump shot during his redshirt year, he could potentially step right in for Williams alongside Gordon in the Minutemen backcourt in 2014.